Part One:

1)There's some interesting use of language in this.


2)Ah, another in along line of lame Doctor Who robots. Vaguely reminiscent of a War Machine.


3)"What are boys?"


4)"Is she fat?" Uh-oh.


5)"We're the Rezzies."


6)I'm a little sketchy as to the Chief Caretaker as acting as though he thinks the Doctor is the Great Architect.


7)Cliffhanger #1: "What should we do with him now, Chief?" "Kill him."


Part Two:

8)"Rules should always make sense."




10)Cliffhanger #2: The Rezzies want to eat Mel!


Part Three:

11)The Creature from the Waste Disposal Unit!


12)"...But, then, I'm not a power-crazed psychopath."


13)The pool robot is also lame.


14)Cliffhanger #3: The Cleaners attack the Doctor!


Part Four:

15)Briers' "possessed" act is somewhat goofy.


16)"All the nasty human beings!"


17)"Did Mel make the creature unalive for you?"


18)Why did none of these people ever leave Paradise Towers? Are they all locked in? Or are things even worse outside?


Overall:  I found this quite enjoyable. I like a nice random adventure that you don't have to worry about how it ties into a larger storyline.

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Just to clarify, NO, I don't have anything like the transmission version of Power of the Daleks. I meant that of the DVDs and VHS tapes that were marketed by the BBC here in North America, I have all but 2 stories to complete the set in either one format or the other.


So, I re-watched the story on the weekend and while I don't recall it being an action-packed roller coaster of excitement, it was even blander than I remembered. I am not sorry that I bought it or anything but on a ten point scale it is a soft 5. Although I did try to keep in mind that as mentioned in the commentary, this was written as a standard Doctor adventure and not specifically for McCoy. One thing though, with the Rezzies, the Kangs and the Caretakers, this was a massive casting for the series, damn near twenty people. Next weekend: Invasion of Time. Yay!

We (I, really) ended up watching all four chapters in a single sitting while sorting comics on the TV room floor. Tracy watched one episode and left the room (she thought it was quite silly), but came back midway through the third episode and watched the rest. the one aspect of the the serial I found most unbelievable was the treatment of Pex by the Kangs. In such a situation, I would think it would be "Paradise Towers" indeed as far as Pex is concerned.

I hope the next Seventh Doctor story to be released will be Dragonfire.
Jeff, I think I would have to disagree. If you were Pex you would be surrounded by canabalistic old ladies or young hotties who wouldn't give you the time of day because they think you're a coward. IF HE LIVED, yeah! He would have had the honeys dripping off of him. I hope that Dragonfire is soon to be released as well. I love that speech that The Doctor gives Mel when she leaves, "You're gone, you're going..etc" and the first Ace story. I am looking forward to the extras on that as well.
The blog finally caught up with this one. My responses...
Philip-- wonderful essay. I dind't understand half of it, but I appreciated where it was coming from. and I've spent enough time building 3D computer models of buildings for a sci-fi comic-book series to know that architecture has long been one of my fascinations, even if i never found a way to make a living at it. (Ah, "if only" I'd taken architectural drafting instead of mechanical.)

"This used to be what Doctor Who was for."

One wonders, how it ever got so far off-track. I've always liked this story, and from the beginning saw it as another one of those "mad" sci-fi concepts of looking at some aspect of society, and then pushing it to absolutely insane levels, in order to dissect it. The Tennant story about the underground super-highway did the same thing, but was far crazier than this thing. Come to think of it, growing up watching the Adam West BATMAN, little in this story really seemed that wild, by comparison.

I loved when someone (I forget who) suggested that this story was so "sick and twisted", that if it wasn't for the level of humor, it might have received more complaints than "THE DEADLY ASSASSIN".

"Richard Briers is channeling his inner John Cleese in portraying a fascist authoritarian."

HAH! I'm so glad you said that. Can you imagine if they'd actually gotten John Cleese to play that part? (Then again, last time I watched "REVELATION", I started thinking how it might have gone if he'd played Eleanor Bron's assistant.)

"The moment where Doctor Who turned it around."

I know I'm the odd one... I thought it was the instant Sylvester woke up in The Rani's workshop. But in that story, Sylvester is the one really good thing going. This story is where we get to see the first real "Sylvester story".

"save for one brief but calamitous downturn in the mid-90s"

HAH!!! The friend of mine who always says he "liked" Peter Davison also insists that he "liked" Paul McGann. I used to think McGann was the one good thing about that movie. After the last time I watched it, I changed my mind. That hurt.

"an attempt to think of Doctor Who as an alternative to Coronation Street (which, of course, it was in the McCoy era - directly so)"

It takes a deliberate act of sabotage to schedule a show against what you know is the highest-rated program on the other channel. The same thing happened to THE AVENGERS when ABC in America moved it from its successful Friday @ 10 PM slot to Mondays @ 7:30. Idiots. Some feel the Tara King episodes were among the best on that show, as well. But who got to see them initially? Not enough people.

"I should also add that I believe pantomime is in itself a fined honed skill that's very difficult to do well, and the reason panto is used often as a derogatory term is because there are far more bad pantomimes than good, mainly owing to the fact a saddeningly large amount of people think panto just means bellowing or treating it as a bit of a laugh that doesn't require effort."

EXACTLY the difference between the 1st season of BATMAN and what came after. There's a reason it hit #1 in the ratings so fast-- and plummetted so fast later on. Among other things, they promoted the show's worst writer to story editor. (Hmm, why does that sound familiar?)

Philip Sandifer:
"Dapol action figures"

I should point out I have the Dapol "25th Anniversary Playset", which had a TARDIS, a TARDIS control room with a central console whose time rotor moved up and down at the exact speed of the one on TV... except it had 5 sides instead of 6, owing to the designer using a photo and not getting it right. Perhaps most strange were the figures included-- Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, AND, K-9!!! (Wouldn't that have been a blast if K-9 had actually been in Season 24?)
Alex Wilcock:
"to me this was a near-perfect template for the seventh Doctor, and I’d have loved to have had more like it."

Me too. I loved all your comments, but this last one summed it up. This could be why I thought "THE HAPPINESS PATROL" was by the same writer (when it fact it was 'GREATEST SHOW").

William Whyte:
"Clive Merrison is fantastic"

One of my fave scenes is with "the rule book". "Rules should make sense. If it's in there, there must be a reason..." Blows my mind to think this is the guy who managed to do EVERY Arthur Conan Doyle HOLMES story (something Jeremy Brett, sadly, was unable to do). I was watching "TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN" the other week, and for the first time, it hit me, whenever I'd see Merrison on screen, I'd yell out, "Deputy Chief Caretaker!"

"I find it interesting that the Doctor is initially mistaken for The Great Architect -- because McCoy's portrayal is also a constant, which is ironic for a mercurial, chaotic magician."

I must say, that's one point in the story I don't quite "get". Does the Chief Caretaker genuinely mistake him for the Great Architect, and if so, why? And if so, WHY does he then condemn him to death, since he seems to be worshipping the imprisoned spirit of Kroagnon in the basement? A recurring flaw in the McCoy era is a lack of coherent explanations. I love these stories, but too many of them feel like they need at least one more script draft before they'd be finished. I suppose that puts them on the same level as the 3rd season of LOST IN SPACE, which really tried so hard to be better, but didn't quite get there.
Just posted at the IMDB boards, in the "Season 24" thread.  Enjoy!
I don't know how the HELL it happened, but 2 weeks in a row, I walked into a brand-new story late. I forget how much of "PARADISE TOWERS" I missed the first time out, but I don't think I had too much trouble following the plot. It does seem to me The Doctor & Mel had already gotten separated by the time I came in.

The style of this story has come under a LOT of criticism among "SF!!!" fans who insist that their "SF!!!" be "SERIOUS" all the freakin' time. Well, I had enough of that crap between Philip K. Dick and Eric-freakin'-Saward. In the latter's case, I was really glad to see him GONE. Colin Baker's run, it seems to me, could have been a lot more fun with a whole different attitude in charge of things. (Of course, we can also pass the blame around there...) Anyway, I think going in, it was almost inevitable that McCoy's run should, at least, START OUT a lot more "fun". There's a reason I spent this entire short season referring to his character as "Doctor Floyd".

Fortunately due to having 2 PBS stations (both on my cable system) running the show on different times, I was able to catch the story from beginning before very long at all. This seemed a return to a more "traditional" story. The Doctor and his companion show up somewhere, walk into a strange situation, get separated, have adventures, eventually get reunited, and solve a major problem. This one also-- almost SHOCKINGLY-- seemed to return to the style of (GASP!!!) Graham Williams' era, particularly Season 17, one of the most popular seasons for the show ever, despite, at the time, being the target of much HARDCORE FANBOY derision, because of its seemingly excessive amount of humor.

I think what's shocking about this, especially, is the fact that for so many years, JNT was so INSISTENT on having little or no humor in the show at all. And now, the ban has lifted. It's almost like how, in America, in the late 70's, TV got so heavily censored because of pressure groups, that all forms of "violence" or excitement of any kind became eliminated, making any attempts at "adventure" shows unwatchable. Then, in early 1981, that just ENDED. Abruptly. Makes you wonder... what the HELL was THAT all about?????

One of the funniest comments I ever read about "PARADISE TOWERS" was that the story had so many elements in it that could be considered "sick" or "offensive", that, if it hadn't been played FOR LAUGHS, it might have gotten more complaints than "THE DEADLY ASSASSIN". If so, I'd say they went the right way on this.

One thing that cracks me up about this story-- and I only realized it in retrospect, after many years and MANY viewings of the story-- is that the Deputy Chief Caretaker was played by Clive Merrison. Shortly after this, he began doing SHERLOCK HOLMES on the radio, and with his Watson, became the only Holmes-Watson pair of actors to EVER adapt the entire Arthur Conan Doyle HOLMES 'canon' in their series. WOW! On further investigation, I also discovered that Merrison has a (relatively small) role in "TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN", found and released on video only a few years after this.

One of my favorite moments in the story is when The Doctor asks to read the rulebook, then starts laughing because what he read "can't be right". What follows is just intensely funny.

Now, as much as I ADORE Bonnie Langford (and I do...SIGH!), this is definitely not one of "Mel"s better moments. She seems outrageously dim in this story, and her wardrobe is reaching new lows. Well, at least as bad as "TIME AND THE RANI". You know, it really amazed me when I started looking around online, and found that as she got older, she actually got BETTER-LOOKING.

There is definitely a very real, tangible warmth and caring between The Doctor and Mel, which was so refreshing after all the time with Adric, Tegan, Turlough, and, most of the time, Peri. It just gets me annoyed that we never got a proper introduction for Mel... or a sensible departure, either.

At first, I didn't quite know what to make of this story. But over time, it GREW on me. These days I LOVE it! I grew up with the Adam West BATMAN. I wish his show had been THIS good more often.

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